Day 5 picks by Matt Cronin
2- SERENA WILLIAMS V. MARIA JOSE MARTINEZ SANCHEZ
This is a rematch of the American and Spaniard's cantankerous Roland Garros tussle, when Serena accused Martinez of cheating after a ball that Williams scalded at her foe appeared to hit her racket and the Martinez wouldn't cop to it. There a serious bad blood after Serena's three set victory.
Williams didn't lose that match and rarely loses contests when she feels there's a lot on the table. She'll be out for more blood here, and while the lefty Martinez has an excellent serve, will attack the net and can be productive with her forehand, Serena began to click in during her straight win over Melinda Czink and now it will take a hellacious effort from any player in the draw to seize the title from her. Serena will win straight sets.
3- VENUS WILLIAMS v. MAGDALENA RYBARIKOVA
Venus is playing with her knee heavily strapped, not a position she prefers to be in while she searching for her first US Open title since 2001. But perhaps the injury has forced her to focus harder and she was spot on the ball for most of her win over Bethanie Mattek on Wednesday.
Venus has the ability to win this tournament, but she defined enigmatic on US outdoor hard courts during the past seven years, failing to win a crown. She's had some tremendous wins, but isn't consistent as she has been in the past. For the elder Williams to win this tournament, she's going to have to serve better, keep her forehand clean, stay aggressive in her return games and take care of her chances at the net.
The young Slovak Rybarikova is no slouch, having won Birmingham prior to Wimbledon, but she recently suffered a shoulder injury and is a little off her game. However, this is huge opportunity for 20-year-old to show her countrywomen that she's the next Daniela Hantuchova, so expect her to come hard at Venus in an attempt to put on a big show. Venus will get through in two tough sets, but she had better raise her level because it's probable that 2005 champ Kim Clijsters will be waiting in the fourth round, and she'll have to display her best stuff to win that contest.
OTHER WOMEN'S MATCHES TO WATCH:
How about Long Beach's Vania King, the singer extraordinaire who had hit the skids and then pulled off a big upset of Samantha Stosur in the second round and now has reached a Slam third round for the first time in her career? The 20-year-old has always been quick and a good fighter, but she was lacking pop and variety and considered quitting last season. But now under Andy Roddick's former coach Tarik Benhabiles, she's motivated again. But whether she can get over on Daniela Hantuchova is another question, as the Slovak doesn't tend to get nervous until later rounds and won’t play as sporadically as Stosur did. King will push this to three sets, but then fall.
After Flavia Pennetta crushed her 6-0, 6-0, Sania Mirza said that if the Italian continued to play that well, she could win the tournament. It's unlikely that Pennetta will, but she'll make Canadian Aleksandra Wozniak work extra hard before she gets good looks at winners. Wozniak may not have top-10 potential, but she can display top-20 stuff and if she plays smart and with patience, she could keep Pennetta out there for three sets. But the Italian has finally found a style that suits her and will take a two-set win.
i think he's right do you?
may your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.